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'It takes a group effort:' Dave Cresap attributes VCSU Coaches Hall of Fame honor to strong support system

On June 10, Dave Cresap was part of Valley City State University's inaugural Coaches Hall of Fame class. He received the Osmon Icon Award. VCSU honored alumni who have gone on to successful and influential coaching careers. Cresap talked about his longevity and his longevity in coaching.

Dave Cresap HOF.jpg
From left to right: Jordan, Carter, Teri and Dave Cresap attend the Valley City State Coaches Hall of Fame induction on June 10, 2022. Cresap was part of VCSU's inaugural class of hall of fame coaches. He graduated in 1984 and is heading into his 37th season of coaching high school basketball.
Contributed / Twitter / @dcresap05
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PERHAM – Dave Cresap sat in the crowd at this year’s state basketball tournament when he got a call from an old college friend.

The long-time Perham head basketball coach was told he was being inducted into the Valley City State Coaches Hall of Fame on June 10.

“I was down at the state tournament watching a game when the phone rang,” Cresap said. “I usually don’t answer it inside when I’m at a game, but it was a guy I played college ball with. Alan Olson said to me, ‘Coach, do you have some time? I want to let you know you’re being inducted into the hall of fame for Valley City State coaches. It kind of took my back. It really is an honor to be considered for that award.”

Cresap was one of 27 VCSU alumni who graduated between 1955-1990 to receive the Osmon Icon Award. VCSU honored alumni who have gone on to successful and influential coaching careers. Cresap graduated in 1984.

“Nope,” Cresap said with a laugh when asked if he ever expected this is how his coaching career would turn out. “I had no idea this would come about. I had a lot of years of playing ball, and I met a lot of good people. I’m still in contact with a couple of professors out there. The whole thing is really special.”

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Coach Cresap
Dave Cresap, middle, coach at the 2011 state basketball tournament. Perham won the Class 2A title in its first ever state tournament appearance.
Perham Focus file photo

“I’m not a big guy on awards. I just think it’s such a team thing. It takes a group effort from a lot of committed individuals. I’m excited about it, but I want to deflect the credit to all of the people that helped me along the way.”

Cresap was quick to recognize the people closest to him when asked about what made this honor possible.

“It’s the only way this happens,” Cresap said on having full support from his family and community. “My family has supported me for 36 years of head basketball coaching and being away from home a ton. There’s a lot of things I missed in my family and my kids along the way. The coaching staff, all of them who have come and gone and have been in place for a lot of years, have been so influential. The community of Perham has just been amazing for support. This doesn’t happen without good players. It’s a combination of all of it.”

Achieving longevity

In this new era of high school sports, longevity has become a rarity. When the times change, so do the players, coaches and families. Yet, Cresap has shown nearly four decades of consistency in an inconsistent job.

“I started working with youth teams when I was 14, 15 years old,” Cresap said. “I found a true love in doing that. I’ve done it all the way through my career in various capacities. Longevity isn’t going to happen much. You don’t see 36-year guys like myself in basketball very much. You have to have some tough skin along the way and face some adversity.

Perham boys basketball has become one of the state’s top Class 2A programs under Cresap. The Yellowjackets won the state championship in 2011 and have been to state four times since.

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Perham head coach Dave Cresap is joined by his basketball team and coaching staff after collecting win No. 600 for his career with a 65-58 victory over Osakis in February of 2020.
Perham Focus file photo

“I live by the motto of never quitting, even when adversity punches you in the face,” Cresap said. “You never know when things are going to turn for the good. I had some rough times 12 or 13 years ago, but I never quit. I had support from my administration. That’s a big thing people need to know–administration is a key for many coaches to succeed.”

Cresap praised Perham’s administration for how it holds success on and off the court to a high standard.

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“Mitch Anderson and Erin Anderson, they’ve been fully supportive and fully involved for us coaches,” Cresap said. “They hold us accountable. I think that’s a big thing these days for coaches. Hold your players accountable or lower your expectations. Student-athletes want to be pushed. They want to be their best. That’s what both Andersons want for us too. Because of that, we, at Perham, have been really successful.”

What keeps him going?

To say Cresap likes to stay involved in the local basketball scene would be an understatement. Aside from coaching high school players year-round, he takes every chance he gets to work with players at the elementary and middle school levels.

“I feel like I’m a very hard worker,” Cresap said. “I work hard hours and long hours if it benefits the youth. We have hard-working coaches here. They work hard at whatever they do. They take a lot of pride in what our programs do.”

Off to state
Dave Cresap gives a kid a high-five during a walk-through farewell at Heart of the Lakes Elementary on in 2019.
Perham Focus file photo

As Cresap heads into his 37th year of being a head coach, there isn’t much left for him to accomplish. She’s had the pleasure of coaching his sons, Jordan and Carter. He led a team to a state championship and firmly put Perham boys basketball on the map. Yet, his excitement year after year hardly wavers.

“It doesn’t take me long to think about it. What keeps me coming back is the kids,” Cresap said. “If the kids decided they weren’t going to buy into what we’re doing, working hard and having that passion for the game, then you probably wouldn’t see me here. Then, you wouldn’t get very far. These kids here in Perham are hard workers. If the kids, coaches and community gave their best, and we don’t get to the top, that’s OK. There’s only a couple of winners each season. In the Perham basketball program, we can lay our hats on being proud of doing those things. I will go to my grave knowing I did everything I can for this program when it ends.”

Jared Rubado is the sports editor for the Detroit Lakes Tribune and the Perham Focus. He moved to the area in September of 2021 after covering sports for the Alexandria Echo Press for nearly three years. Jared graduated from the University of Augustana in 2018 with degrees in journalism and sports managment.
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